The Revolutionary Meeting (1883) by Ilya Repin

The Revolutionary Meeting - Ilya Repin - 1883

Artwork Information

TitleThe Revolutionary Meeting
ArtistIlya Repin
Dimensions104 x 173 cm
Art MovementRealism
Current LocationTretyakov Gallery, Moscow, Russia

About The Revolutionary Meeting

“The Revolutionary Meeting” is an artwork by the Russian artist Ilya Repin, created in the year 1883. This oil on canvas piece is a representation of the Realism art movement. The dimensions of the artwork are 104 by 173 centimeters, and it is categorized as a genre painting. The work is currently housed within the Tretyakov Gallery located in Moscow, Russia.

The artwork depicts a clandestine gathering, presumably of political activists or intellectuals during a tumultuous period in Russian history, hinting at the themes of rebellion and conspiracy that were relevant to Repin’s contemporary social environment. The scene is illuminated predominantly by a single, central source of light, casting dramatic shadows and highlights across the figures and intensifying the secretive atmosphere. The individuals present exhibit a variety of expressions and attitudes, suggesting intense debate or discussion. Some faces are attentively focused, while others look contemplative or anxious. The use of chiaroscuro not only brings a palpable tension to the group meeting but also emphasizes the emotional and psychological state of the participants, underlining the gravity of their discourse.

The renditions of the figures are characterized by the attention to detail and nuance that is characteristic of Repin’s work, capturing the realism of character and setting that the genre painting tradition demands. Each person portrayed in the artwork seems to play a significant part in the narrative, yet the precise nature of their conversation is left to the interpretation of the viewer. The overall composition reinforces the realism movement’s objective to portray scenes and events true to everyday life, devoid of idealization, yet imbued with the potent undercurrents of the era’s social and political life.

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